Do you buy 3d models online?


Kray support
Hello my friends,

I'm trying to rethink my business because it's been hard times in arch viz in the last year here. I've put up a short questionary and would like to ask you to fill it if you can. I would greatly appreciate it.

Please see 3D models questionary here:

Thank you!
there is a market for it, i just doubt that artists earn a lot from it.

if you "own" Turbosquid however, it might serve as a daily income...
but for a regular artist, nah, doubt i'd jump on that horse...


Perpetual Newbie
Some TurbuSquid artists (massimo rigghi, frex) really do earn a living selling online, but the market's become supersaturated and devalued by people selling decent models for ultra low prices -- probably using pirated software. I've been an active vendor since 2005 and make a decent 2nd income from sales, but the above issues have caused most artists' profits to drop dramatically. Due to competition, etc., personal sales are down more than 50% since 2009. Very controversial topic on the forums over there bc TS won't intervene in a meaningful way.

Arch Viz interiors (furniture, lighting, etc) and automotive are the toughest market segments due to competition. Houses, commercial structures and cityscapes are a better bet. You need a large collection of models (4-500 generally considered the tipping point) to make serious money, and most buyers use Max and prefer the .max proprietary format. If you sign up, be sure to export all models to .fbx, .obj., .dae, and any other formats you can. 3ds is also still popular, despite its limitations.

Also be aware of the exploitive royalty schedule. If you sell exclusively on TS, you can make up to 60% royalty (more on affiliate sales), but if you want to sell on other sites, too, you only get 40%, which is below market standard. Many negatives related to management attitudes toward artists/vendors (thanks to having a near monopoly on stock 3d) but it's a viable second income stream.


Eat your peas.
For my personal projects, I sometimes purchase third-party objects for items that I have little time or interest in creating from scratch, especially if I know I can buy perfectly good ones online. In 'Happy Box', for example, the big and little chainsaws were purchased items that I modified to suit my needs. Purchasing these models saved me a lot of time and I don't think it would have added any extra value to the film if I had built the chainsaws myself. Obviously, my needs were very specific in this production and I think I was lucky to find the models I needed at a price I could afford. But finding these models made me glad that companies like Turbosquid, 3DO2, DAZ3D, etc., exist.

At work, we often buy models for 'common' items like cars, environment, and other props. Sometimes this saves us a lot of artist hours but not always. If the geometry turns out to be poorly modeled, a purchased asset can actually waste a lot of artist time, as he may wind up spending hours fixing bad polygons and crappy UVs. When this happens, we bite the bullet and have the artist discard the purchased model and build a new one from scratch--and avoid purchasing any more models from that particular content provider in the future.

This is just my opinion but I think if the content provider can be consistent about quality, he can probably build a good brand name around his work. If customers know they can count on decent production quality from a particular provider, they will come back for more. The trick will be turning that brand into a steady stream of income. One way to build a brand is to focus on a specific market and produce a lot of high quality content for that market. Cars are obvious. Military assets another popular market. Sci-fi nurnies is yet another sought-after specialty. In my experience, the quality of what's 'out there' is just all over the place and a lot of it is between worthless and just barely useable for previs quality, but I'm starting to recognize the names of a few skilled artists that I can depend on for 'near final' quality and I will definitely buy pre-built models from these guys again as the need arises.

Sorry, I know this post is a little rambling but maybe it will give you some ideas from a content buyer's perspective.

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Active member

My biggest request is real 3D peoples that can be placed in foreground… but with not too much polygons.
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